Schools Forbid Postgame Handshakes: Too Many Fights
Handshake lines turning violent in Kentucky
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2013 4:46 AM CDT
The traditional postgame handshake has been turning into a tradition of postgame fights.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Sportsmanship seems to be struggling in Kentucky: The governing body for high school sports in the state has told schools to stop having organized handshakes after games because the practice has led to dozens of fights over the last few years, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports. Students can still shake hands with opposing teams voluntarily but if an organized handshake is held and school administrators and coaches fail to keep the peace, fines may be issued. The directive advises referees and officials to leave immediately after the game instead of becoming involved in any postgame activities.

The executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations says sportsmanship is in decline across the country and the same rule change has happened in other states. "We have seen that erosion occur at almost every level; almost every state association can point to an incident like this," he says. Some coaches say they hope to continue the tradition despite the directive. "I'm a big proponent of sportsmanship, and we're going to shake hands, win or lose, unless my bosses tell me not to," says the boys' basketball coach at Lexington Catholic High School.

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Showing 3 of 40 comments
Oct 9, 2013 4:41 PM CDT
It seems to me that an easy way to stop this would be to say if you start a fight, your team immediately forfeits the game. Sure, any kids who didn't fight would be punished but I doubt it would happen more than once. And who would want to be the tough guy in the locker room after that?
Oct 9, 2013 4:39 PM CDT
No. Your team gets into a fight, the season is cancelled. Period. The end. You don't remove a simple sign of sportsmanship and humanity after a game because your kids can't handle it. You remove the idiot kids, with the idiot parents and coaches who didn't teach them to be decent people worthy of playing a sport in the first place. Anyone who agrees with forbidding post-game handshakes and/ or is going along with it, should be ashamed of themselves.
Oct 9, 2013 1:06 PM CDT
When I was in high school, if we'd gotten in a fight with the opposing team after a game, we wouldn't have been playing any more football that season.